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Cementville: A Novel Paperback – March 17, 2015
Cementville is the story of a small Kentucky town in 1969, facing the return of the bodies of a group of local young men killed together in a firefight in Vietnam. The young men come from all kinds of families: the prominent Slidell family, the ne’er-do-well Ferguson clan, the solid Goins family. As scattered members of the town come home to pay their respects, their collective grief cracks open the walls of their reserve, allowing them to know each other as never before. Cementville is not strongly plot-driven, and the murder-mystery element introduced halfway through feels incidental. What is central and valuable is the depiction of a specific and near-forgotten way of life. Through her strongly drawn characters, Livers portrays a community drawing on its traditional strengths—kindness, respect, and practicality—to support each other through the very new challenges presented by war, trauma, and suspicion. This novel will be enjoyed by fans of Marilynne Robinson and of lyrical novels that depict the awesome inner struggles and resources of seemingly everyday people. --Lynn Weber --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
1969 is often remembered as the summer of love, of Abbey Road and the flight to the moon. This book is about the realities of that time and by extension the realities we still live with. Unflinching and clear, and beautifully written, Cementville manages to be what good books always are: a window into the true world, exhilarating and inspiring even as it faces into the dark.” Richard Bausch
"Cementville gave me everything I want in a novel. The place and time period come alive on the page, the characters are as real as all the people I know best, and I'm still thinking about them and their stories even though I finished the book several days ago. This is just simply a beautiful novel, and it could only be written by someone with a very large heart. I'll be recommending it to everyone. Paulette Livers has made me feel that special thrill that I've never gotten from anything but great fiction." Steve Yarbrough, The Realm of Last Chances
Paulette Livers is the real thing -a blazing talent with a fierce intelligence and a big heart, big enough to encompass a horrible tragedy and the inner life of an entire community. She has written a brilliant and deeply compassionate study of grief, violence, loneliness, and love. And her language sings. This is a stunning debut a perfect novel with deep implications for our own time.” Lee Smith, Guests on Earth
Cementville is a tremendous debut novel. How Paulette Livers is able to maintain her light touch while taking on the era of the Vietnam War with its seismic worldwide effects is nothing short of genius. With its beautiful, wounded characters, its startling insights into their private hearts, and frequent flashes of humor, this book is one of the best novels I've read in a long while.” Christine Sneed, Little Known Facts
Paulette Livers paints a compelling portrait of a small Kentucky town, with its tragedies, pleasures, and crimes, with its fallen heroes, its agoraphobics, and its young lovers. Her prose crackles as it traces the uneasy lives of the folks of Cementville.” Bonnie Jo Campbell, bestselling author of Once Upon a River
What is central and valuable is the depiction of a specific and near-forgotten way of life. Through her strongly drawn characters, Livers depicts a community drawing on its traditional strengthskindness, respect, and practicalityto support each other through the very new challenges presented by war, trauma, and suspicion. This novel will be enjoyed by fans of Marilynne Robinson and of lyrical novels that depict the awesome inner struggles and resources of seemingly everyday people.” Booklist
Long, lyrical chapters explore the wounds wrought on those left bereft Livers uses each chapter to explore a different facet of war and its aftermath.” Publishers Weekly
The arrival of dead soldiers from Vietnam in 1969 upturns and rewires the lives in a small Kentucky town. An earnest and sober portrait of the homefront.” Kirkus
[a] gently paced evocation of a nearly forgotten time and place.” Elle
..Cementville could be any American town in 1969. The novel is a moving representation of the nation’s psychological state in that time of turmoil.” Real Simple
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Another Kentucky native, Silas House, has said that "every good piece of writing begins with both a mystery and a love story. And that every single sentence must be a poem." Cementville fits the bill.